Aquino urges Filipinos to unite and work together in preserving country’s natural wonders
Source: Presidential Communcations Operations Office(PCOO)
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the Filipino people to continue working together in caring and preserving the country’s natural wonders to ensure environmental sustainability that will buttress the government’s efforts towards economic progress and development.
In his speech during the official inauguration of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature (N7WN) at the One Esplanade Open Grounds in Pasay City on Friday night, President Aquino issued the call stressing the people’s responsibility in the preservation of the environment to make sure that the country’s world-class tourist spots retain their natural splendor.
“This honor reminds us of how truly blessed our country is and of how it is our task as Filipinos not to take these blessings for granted. We have to act as responsible stewards and this means valuing our natural resources and ensuring the environmental sustainability of all our development efforts,” the President said.
“Let us remember, tourism, however, must be nurtured and sustained, and the best way to do that is to take care of sites like the Underground River—not in words but most importantly in deeds… let us protect it, preserve it and make sure that it retains the natural wonder, the same goes for all our other natural treasures,” he added.
The Chief Executive also noted the cooperation and unity of the Filipino people which landed the PPUR as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature making it through a stiff global competition.
“Today it gives me hope not only for the success of our future tourism efforts but also for our continued success along the straight and righteous path,” the President said.
“If we put in the kind of work that brought us to this day, if government and the private sector continue working together, if we take pride in our country and continue fulfilling our individual roles no matter how big or small, then we can be sure that our successes will not stop here. Our country will continue to stand strong and progressive guided by the broad light of day,” he noted.
President Aquino thanked everyone for the collective efforts which made the PPUR not only one of the country’s pride but also the pride of the world.
“I thank everyone who participated in this effort—from those who led the campaign, and most especially those who joined us in sending their text and internet votes. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the pride of Palawan… now it is the pride of the world because it has officially been named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature,” he said.
“I’m especially proud to be here because this is, after all, a collective success in the face of tremendous competition. When we got to the finalists’ round, there were 27 other finalists and millions of other voters from all over the world. We pulled together and once again put the Philippines on the map,” he noted.
President Aquino received the award (plaque) from New7Wonders president and founder Bernard Weber signaling the official inauguration of the PPUR as one of the World’s Seven Wonders of Nature.
Present to witness the event were Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. and Puerto Princesa Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn.
The Puerto Princesa Underground River is located some 50 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan. It consists of a limestone karst mountain landscape, several large chambers containing significant formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and an 8.2 km navigable underground river that winds through a cave before flowing directly into the West Philippine Sea. At the exit, a flawless lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge.
The other six included in the N7WN are Amazon River (South Africa), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Iguazo Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Jeju Island (South Korea), Komodo National Park (Indonesia) and Table Mountain (South Africa). (jcl/12:30 a.m.)
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